Report: Rangers 1 Valencia 1
Wed 20.10.2010 / 19:45
Vital Rangers takes a look back at Rangers midweek UEFA Champions League game with Spanish giants Valencia.
Rangers went into this one unbeaten so far in the group stage and with no goals conceded. Although to be fair they had only scored one as well. I know it's an old cliche but if I had been offered a 1-1 draw before this game I would've bitten you hand off for it, but as it turned out, I was disappointed only to get the draw.
Walter Smith handed on loan Aberdeen full-back Ricky Foster his first Rangers start against the Spaniards. Vladmir Weiss also started the game. It was the usual European 4-5-1 formation with Kenny Miller up front on his own.
To give you an idea of the task that Rangers were faced with. Valencia had been top of La Liga for the past few weeks and were only just knocked off at the weekend after the 2-1 defeat to Barcelona. This is a good good side but Rangers rattled them, and at the end of the game they looked shattered and were in shock.
I think they were expecting to pin Rangers back much the same way as Manchester United did in the opening game but it was quite the opposite. Rangers had so many chances in the game they could have hammered the Spanish side by at least four of five goals.
If Kenny Miller or Ricky Foster had taken their chances Rangers would have won, no doubt about it. Both Miller and Foster had carbon copy sitters in either half, Miller in the first half and Foster in the second. Both were presented with open goals and both fired over the bar. These weren't just sitters, these were Peter van Vossen sitters.
As well as this, Maurice Edu struck the post with a long range effort in the first half. Rangers were all over them. As it turned out, it was Edu who scored both the game's goals. He gave Rangers the lead with a brave header in the 34th minute but was so unlucky to head into his own net at the start of the second half to give Valencia an undeserved equaliser.
Valencia had a few good chances themselves to be fair, and actual fact on another night this game could easily have been a 3-3 or a 4-3. Valencia sub Soldado was unlucky not to score, and Juan Mata also had a great chance but fired over from close range. Meanwhile, Steven Davis almost scored from a lovely chip but the Valencia goalkeeper just managed to tip the ball over the bar.
It was a very entertaining game indeed, one of the best I've seen in a long time. It's a great point but can't help being disappointed it's not three points. The three points would have put Rangers in an even better postiion, but as it is, Rangers are in a good position and if they can get anything against Valencia in the return fixture then they'll have a great chance to qualify for the last sixteen.
Rangers are currently in second spot behind Manchester United who beat Bursaspor. United are on seven points, Rangers are on five, Valencia are on four and Burssport are rock bottom with no points at all. I think we should be a safe bet for at least the Europa Cup spot and guranteed European football after christmas, but a last 16 spot is still all to play for.